Maintenance of immunological homeostasis between tolerance and autoimmunity is essential for the prevention of human diseases ranging from autoimmune disease to cancer. Accumulating evidence suggests that p53 can mitigate phagocytosis-induced adjuvanticity thereby promoting immunological tolerance following programmed cell death. Here we identify Inhibitor of Apoptosis Stimulating p53 Protein (iASPP), a negative regulator of p53 transcriptional activity, as a regulator of immunological tolerance. iASPP-deficiency promoted lung adenocarcinoma and pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis, while iASPP-deficient mice were less susceptible to autoimmune disease. Immune responses to iASPP-deficient tumors exhibited hallmarks of immunosuppression, including activated regulatory T cells and exhausted CD8+ T cells. Interestingly, iASPP-deficient tumor cells and tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells, CD4+, and γδ T cells expressed elevated levels of PD-1H, a recently identified transcriptional target of p53 that promotes tolerogenic phagocytosis. Identification of an iASPP/p53 axis of immune homeostasis provides a therapeutic opportunity for both autoimmune disease and cancer.
Cell Death Dis